NYFA Los Angeles 2017 Winter Graduation

February 15, 2017

On January 28th, the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles bid farewell to over 120 students as they crossed the stage in their caps and gowns. Amongst teachers, family, and friends, graduates prepared to enter the entertainment field.

To honor their accomplishments we share here the final words of encouragement from the commencement speakers for the class of 2017 in hopes that they’ll help you on your artistic journey. Congratulations to all the graduates from the New York Film Academy.

Tab Murphy, writer of “Gorillas in the Mist,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Tarzan,” “Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” “Brother Bear,” “Superman/ Batman: Apocalypse, and Batman: Year One,” left students inspired with his impassioned address.

Tab Murphy

“This is such an exciting time in Hollywood. There’s so much opportunity out there. There are so many new venues for content and so many ways to be a creator and a writer. It’s an incredibly exciting time. I encourage you to embrace it all. Be entrepreneurial, don’t have such a narrow vision of yourself as a filmmaker and while you’re doing all of that don’t be afraid to embrace life so that when that door of opportunity opens you have something to say.”
–Tab Murphy

Andrew Leeds has been acting since he was eight years old. He’s done everything from voice over for animation, acted for television shows including “Bones,” “Cristela,” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” improvisation with Groundlings Theater. He is in the holiday comedy “Office Christmas Party” and is now writing and producing for television. Leeds used his life experience to provide students with practical life advice to survive in Los Angeles.

Andrew Leeds

“If I could leave you with one thing today it would be, believe in yourself. Bet on yourself. However hard you think you’ve worked up until now, work harder. Create, innovate, and bring things to the table no one before you has brought. Every person in here has what it takes to do it. And, if I’m smart, I’ll take my own advice and do it too. Congratulations to all of you as you embark on the next phase of your life.”
-Andrew Leeds

Peter Medak has been making movies for close to sixty years and is passionate about the craft now as he was when he first began. He’s directed episodes of “7th Heaven,” “Breaking Bad,” “Cold Case,” “Hannibal,” “Twilight Zone,” “The Wire,” and “Tales from the Crypt.” His films include “The Changeling,” “Species II,” and “Romeo is Bleeding.” Here our his final words to the Filmmaking graduating class of 2017.

Peter Medak

“It’s pure magic. Magic is what you can do with those lenses. You’ve had your training you know about the lenses. You know about lighting, which is so important.

I had to shoot in South Africa and make it look like Sunset Boulevard but we were in Capetown. It doesn’t exist I said to the producers, ‘You’re all out of your mind. It is impossible to do that.’ But you know I saw it was quite possible. You have to be very clever about it. Choose very carefully what you show in that frame.

You’re going on an amazing journey and I congratulate you. I want you to follow your dreams. That’s the most important thing.”
-Peter Medak

Congratulations to the class of 2017!

MFA Acting For Film
Christopher Lee Akens
Sienna Eve Benton
Ainur Burkutbayeva
Maria De Los Angeles Cabrera Toledo
Rita A Casman
John O’brien Johnson
Aditya Joshi
Yu-Hsuan Lee
Camila Mejia Duque
Gina Simone Parris
Demyra Ravyne Payne
Shelby Simkin
Jesselynn Stegall
Nanli Wang
Michael Wilson
Zhe Zeng
Alem Zewdu
Wanyao Zhang
Khorlan Zholzhaxynova

BFA Acting For Film
Morgan Aiken
Leo D’hemery
Michael Elston
Alfred Gabidullin
Reinaldo Garcia
Kristina Karpechenkova
Fiona Ketter
Justin Lightfoot
Grace Michelle Wangui Mbayah
Thomas Oakley
Tayla Jan Schaffner
Milbelynn Soto
Marcella Unate
Anlezia Mone Venter
Joel Wright
Ekaterina Zaytseva

AFA Acting For Film
Helmer David Arango
Jenný Arnthórsdóttir
Montana Cypress
Vanessa Esquivel
Paloma Fernandez Vigil
Andrew Forner
Daniela Maria Gerdes
Tomas Gudmundsson
Christopher Holani
Lena Annalisa Kane
Kelsey Kummerl
Martta Rebekka Maki-Petaja
Badr Moussa
Josiah Portukalian
Nathan Rosado
Christopher Allyn Rybka
Ivan Sharudo
Valita Stoke
Pranay Unadkat

MFA Screenwriting
Ashley Helg
Casey Hempel
Efsane Karayılanoğlu
Timothy Kirkpatrick
Tricia Lan
Linn Markussen
Kayla Maurais
Karthik Menon
Chiedozie Orjiako
Eduardo Faustino Rivera Jaso

BFA Screenwriting
Kine Brown
Kyle Del Fierro
Jinghui Jia
Daria Leshchenko
Jamaul Phillips
Florian David Sutalo
William Willis

AFA Screenwriting
Hong Bin Zhang

MFA Game Design
Yi Chen
Tianyi Wu

BFA Game Design
Hasan Cheikhali
Maresh Escoffery

MA Film And Media Production
Medardo III Abad
Stephanie Adusei-Boateng
Lamia Alshwwier
Hardik Aswani
Oscar Avila Letelier
Elizaveta Bolshunova
Eric Owen Bridges
Maria Lorena Carrocci
Sheila David
Yanhua Gao
Yunhong Guo
Albandari Tariq Hakeem
Naimah Hawsah
Kiyanoush Jahaandideh
Adebowale Johnson
Ajay Marri
Manikandan Mathivanan
Kyaw Kyaw Min
Sadedin Piralievich Nuraliev
Olzhas Nurbayev
Daniel Peres Morel
Tianyu Ren
Andrea Rodriguez Sanchez
Nataliya Tsvetkova
Gudiveti Venkata Raghavendra Reddy
Chuwei Wang
Xiao Wang
Yanping Wang
Sarai Waters
Shengsheng Wu
Fei Xie

AFA Filmmaking
I-Chen Chung
Peter Farquhar
Desmond Goldson
Sergey Korchinskiy
Samuel Mcknight
Joshua Prince
Ben Zimmerman

MFA Cinematography
Saleh Aldwayyan
Abdulaziz Almutari Talaq
Amy Lynn Brown
Jessica Gray
Joseph Hamilton
Haoxun Jiang
Sam Krishna
Tian Liu
Yang Liu
Dhruv Saxena
Carlos Suarez
Jaan Kristjan Utno
Jing Wang
Haowei Wen
Yue Xue

MFA Producing
Louis Brown
Qian Dong
Melissa Gutiérrez Clavijo
Florian Christian Handler
Zororo Makamba
Ana Cindy Quijada R.
Daniel Wayne Smith
Funeka Sowazi
Joshua Thomas
Alexandre Wilson
Hanjie Zhang
Yanjun Zhu

AFA Producing
Nicole Tatlock

MFA Photography
Nilangana Banerjee
Pamela Garcia-Aguirre
Tingting Lou
Hao Yang
Yiwan Zhang

BFA Photography
Polina Krasovicka
Xiao Xu

BFA Animation
Yahui Cheng

MFA Filmmaking (Feature Track)
Bandar Mohayl Almutairi
Vanness Diane Hughes

MFA Filmmaking
Marvin Akanyi
Mohamad Al Yamani
Abdulelah Alqurashi
Hua Bai
Fanzhen Bu
Luis Fernando Camargo
Yang Chen
Yucheng Geng
Fei Guo
Nicole Harris
Lei Hong
Shiman Hu
Hanyang Huang
Amir Kadiev
George Leone
Shaobo Li
Ziwei Lu
Pedro Ludwig Marcial
Milton Lyons
Haihua Ma
John Mccain
Obianuju Obiejesi
Jorge Andres Ospina Sanchez
Chanel Page
Keyu Qu
Olga Solodukhina
Pavel Suslov
Hiroshi Takano
Diana Esperanza Trejo
Daniel Velasco
Rui Wu
Wei Xiao
Qin Yan
Zhiyuan Yuan
Yuqing Zhang
Tian Zhou
Duxiao Zhu

BFA Filmmaking (Feature Track)
Hamzah Ahmed F. Tarzan

BFA Filmmaking
Noor Matook Al Yaseen
Paul Araujo Coronel
Abdullah Bamajboor
Diego Barragan
Nikita Belomestnykh
William Berkowitz Jr.
Joseph Brandon
Alexis Brown
Charles Clark
Nicholas Cunha
Guojiang Deng
Christopher Di Edwardo
Joel Jerry Duran
Robert Ford
Kristen Kiertzner
Yassein Koptane
Andrew Kunkle
Haochang Liu
Luke Murphy
Samuel Nieves
Cindy Osegueda
Taylor Paluso
Mariel Quintero
Shivalik Shankar
Alexander Stamm
Shammika Tomar
Arturo Trapaga
Hao Wang
Joann Wong
Shiyao Yao
Jiasu Ye
Yufei Zhang